The Best Lawyer In The Country Will No Longer Be Your Lawyer

by IAN MILLHISER – The Solicitor General of the United States may have the most difficult job in the legal profession. They speak with the voice of the United States of America, even though America itself speaks with a cacophony of over 300 million different voices. They argue the most challenging cases brought by or against the most powerful nation on the planet, and they often must do so with one arm tied behind their back — balancing the need to win a specific case with the institutional interests of the Justice Department and of the many other arms of America’s government. Even during quiet periods in America’s legal history, the solicitor general must have a great intellect and a gift for reading men and women with titanic egos to determine how they can be persuaded. Donald Verrilli, who will step down from his position as solicitor general at the...

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19 Hysterical Passages From Supreme Court Same-Sex Marriage Dissenters

by ZACK FORD & JUDD LEGUM – More ink was spilled dissenting today’s Supreme Court marriage equality decision than the majority’s opinion required. There were four different dissents, one by Chief Justice John Roberts (joined by Justices Scalia and Thomas), plus separate dissents from Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, and Samuel Alito. The opinions are rife with criticism for the majority, including claims that they have upended the reputation of the Court, paranoia about the consequences for religious objectors, and a rejection of the idea that the benefits of marriage even constitute a liberty. Here’s a look at some of the most hysterical reactions from the dissenting justices. Roberts: No court should ever care about this issue. Whether same-sex marriage is a good idea should be of no concern to us. Under the Constitution, judges have power to say what the law is, not what it should be. The people...

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Alito and Scalia: Have You No Sense of Decency Sirs?

by Bill Quigley – In the 1940s and 1950s, countless people in the US were being bullied and brutalized by the anti-communist scare tactics and character assassinations of Senator Joseph McCarthy. The end of the McCarthy red-baiting era began when Joseph Welch stood up to McCarthy after he attacked a young lawyer on his staff.  Welch was appalled by McCarthy’s callous disregard and despite McCarthy’s power, challenged him by stating: “Until this moment, Senator, I think I have never really gauged your cruelty or your recklessness.” He concluded by saying “You’ve done enough.  Have you no sense of decency, sir?  At long last, have you left no sense of decency?” In the recent marriage equality case, Supreme Court Justices Samuel Alito and Antonin Scalia argued that marriage equality opens the door to polygamy, underage sex, and incest between brothers and sisters.   This is the modern equivalent of McCarthy red-baiting and deserves...

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